Security, Identity and Interests: A Sociology of International Relations


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The remedy for such rivalry lies in cooperation which can only be found in global security initiatives among states. With the advocacy of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA human security elements have acquired a wider dimension, for they go beyond military protection and engage threats to human dignity.

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Accordingly, it has become necessary for states to make conscious efforts towards building links with other states and to consciously engage in global security initiatives. Health: measures against disease, unsafe food, malnutrition and lack of access to basic health care. Environmental: measures against environmental degradation, resource depletion, natural disasters and pollution.

Personal: measures against physical violence, crime, terrorism, domestic violence and child labour. A critical examination of these OCHA human security measures makes global security an important exercise to analyse.


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For instance, there are many states where the capacity to deal with issues of unemployment are grossly lacking. The same applies to food provision and other areas. Health care poses a challenge in varying dimensions at different levels in many states.


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As a result of globalization, people from different parts of the world crisscross between geographical boundaries. As much as this has claimed to bring economic prosperity, it is also replete with challenges, particularly in regard to the spread of communicable diseases, crime and terrorism.

‘Identity’ in International Relations and Foreign Policy Theory

Aside from spillouts resulting from deliberate human activities, another area of concern is the consequences of internal conflicts, which include refugee problems and which transcend geographical contiguity. Environmental and climate change issues are other areas that call for more cooperation among states, especially when dealing with the aftermath of an earthquake or a tsunami. Disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction are other areas that make global collaboration and cooperation necessary.

The acquisition of nuclear weapons and similar armaments, which started as a national security option, has become today a major threat to national and global security. The seemingly hard-line posture of many state actors towards disarmament requires the development of a moral consciousness that can only be reinforced by cooperation and collaboration at the international level.

It might be true that states are in competition, as argued by Jabeen Musarrat. This leads one to think that perhaps the cold war did not actually come to an end but merely changed its nature. His advice that states need to embrace a new spirit of oneness is crucial for all. The global community stands to benefit from greater intra-states collaboration and cooperation, for greater interaction will help build trust and confidence. All Rights Reserved. Personal use only; commercial use is strictly prohibited for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of International Studies.

Publications Pages Publications Pages. Oxford Research Encyclopedias International Studies. Search within subject: Select Historical Sociology and International Relations. Read More. Subscriber sign in.

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Sign in with your library card. Search within Show Summary Details A more recent version of this content exists; this version was replaced on 1 December The version that replaced it can be found here. Summary and Keywords An International Relations IR approach rooted in history and sociology can provide an understanding of global transformations.

Security, Identity and Interests: A Sociology of International Relations Security, Identity and Interests: A Sociology of International Relations
Security, Identity and Interests: A Sociology of International Relations Security, Identity and Interests: A Sociology of International Relations
Security, Identity and Interests: A Sociology of International Relations Security, Identity and Interests: A Sociology of International Relations
Security, Identity and Interests: A Sociology of International Relations Security, Identity and Interests: A Sociology of International Relations
Security, Identity and Interests: A Sociology of International Relations Security, Identity and Interests: A Sociology of International Relations

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